Celebrating 40 years of design and manufacturing in Sonoma County

early years

The Early Years

Steven Tierra first began casting jewelry for friends in his garage back in the 1970’s. “The Garage” has become the quintessential origin of inspirational success, and this environment of passionate tinkering and creating with friends remains at the heart of TierraCast today.

In October 1978 Steve moved his operation into a commercial building close to home and offered his services to local designers. One of his first customers, Alan Joseph was looking for someone to cast his jewelry designs and became so fascinated with the manufacturing processes that he offered to work for free in exchange for learning production techniques. That initial agreement, and the friendship that followed, formed the working partnership that made the company’s future progress possible.

Job Shop Years

TierraCast’s first big break came in the early 1980’s when graphic designer and friend, Laurel Burch asked Steve to manufacture her first collection of jewelry designs. Throughout the 80’s TierraCast took in hundreds of clients, stretching their manufacturing techniques and capacities to make a wide range of products from custom sterling ear wires to bronze elevator buttons. During this time the company physically expanded to inhabit all the buildings located on the west county property; over 13,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space where we still reside today.

About TierraCast
component design

TierraCast Component Designs

TierraCast introduced its first original collection of jewelry components in 1989. These initial twelve designs were well received and in the following decades the company created a substantial catalog of beautifully designed and carefully manufactured products. Sophisticated jewelry techniques and low cost materials offered high quality yet affordable, original design components to the growing DIY jewelry market.

Commitment to Quality, Safety and Business Integrity

A no-nonsense commitment to quality, safety and environmentally sound manufacturing practices was firmly integrated into the business early on. Steve worked directly with the staff of California’s Consumer Protection Agency as an industry leader in developing the standards that were adopted into law regarding lead in jewelry content. TierraCast has a fierce commitment to protect our intellectual property to preserve the integrity of our brand for our customers and our business.

jewelry component
staff group photo

Valued Relationships

Our talented and dedicated staff currently possesses over 350 years of company service, averaging 14.5 years for each employee! Long-term relationships with our vendor partners, contractors, and service providers also play a critical role in our success. Most importantly we acknowledge the tremendous relationship we have with our customers.

After 40 years, the company is embracing another new chapter. With a fresh cohort of design, technical and production talent on board, TierraCast is stretching in new directions. At our core we remain a passionate group of people who love making quality parts for you to use. We make every effort to ensure your experience with TierraCast is pleasant, professional and adds value to your endeavor.

Forty Years Logo

Meet the TierraCast Staff

Steven Tierra

Steven Tierra

Founder and President

Steve began creating jewelry for friends in 1975 and had a jewelry company West Earth Designs before establishing TierraCast in 1978.  He set high standards for excellence in production and business practices that are the foundation of the company’s reputation.  Though retired from day to day involvement, Steve’s leadership continues to inspire.

Alan Joseph

Alan Joseph

Co-Owner and Product Development Manager

As a graduate of Design from Kansas State University, Alan joined forces with Steven Tierra in 1979 and worked side by side in the development of products, production and financial management.  His passion for design remains at the heart of the company’s success.

Sarah Wright

Sarah Wright

General Manager

Sarah joined TierraCast in 1984 with a BA in Small Business Management and rapidly progressed through many roles throughout all facets of the company and in 1993 was appointed Operations Manager. In 2000 she transferred to Sales Management and in 2011 was promoted to General Manager.

Julie Young

Julie Young

Sales Account Representative

Since joining TierraCast in 1981, Julie has worked in many areas of the company, moving from Production to Order Fulfillment, Inventory, Shipping, Purchasing and Customer Service. In 2001 she brought her passion for people and beading to her current position of Sales Representative for the job she says she was born to do!

Nicol Rapalyea

Nicol Rapalyea

Order Fulfillment and Customer Service Supervisor

Nicol joined TierraCast in 1999 bringing with an extensive retail management and customer service background. Her leadership skills and fierce support of her team has created a top notch Customer Service department that is attentive, knowledgeable and accurate.

Tracy Gonzales

Tracy Gonzales

Jewelry Designer and Product Educator

Tracy started at TierraCast in March, 2006 in the Order Fulfillment Dept. Her art and design background soon proved handy in other areas of the company and over time her job morphed into her current role in the Marketing Dept. On any given day her creative and widely varied duties can include jewelry design, content marketing, social media management, web updates, or developing teaching opportunities for industry events.

Kierston Aiello

Kierston Aiello

Pattern & Tooling Facilitator

Kierston joined our TierraCast team in 2015, working first in Customer Service before making the switch to our Pattern Department.  She brings with her a wealth of experience and training in fine art, jewelry production, and design.   She earned her BA at Humboldt State with emphasis in both Art History and Metalsmithing, and is an enthusiastic member of the craft community.

Jeff Morrison

Jeff Morrison

Maintenance Technician Production and Facilities

Jeff joined TierraCast in 2007 after 29 years’ experience working for Korbel Winery and various other Sonoma County manufacturing companies. His extensive range of construction, carpentry, electrical, machining, plumbing, welding, mechanical, and fabricating skills are essential to our manufacturing environment.

Dawn Hyde

Dawn Hyde

Financial Administrator

Dawn Hyde has been our Financial Administrator since 2000. Dawn oversees the money coming and going and keeps track of it all. She is known and valued for extracting the most from software and technology and is our “go to” person for setting up systems that work. She is the financial cornerstone of TierraCast.

Mario Gonzales

Mario Gonzales

Lead Mold Maker

Mario has essentially grown up at TierraCast. He started here in his teens in 1990 and through the years has worked to bring forth everything from Polar Bear figurines to countless jewelry components.  He is a highly skilled craftsman that approaches his job with exceptional attention to detail and is an essential part of the TierraCast team.  

David Cruz

David Cruz

Customer Service

David came to us in December 2015 with an exceptional background in hospitality and customer service that have served him well here at TierraCast. He is perennially cheerful and has an “above and beyond” helpfulness that makes him a joy to work with, and our customers love him! He likes to spend time with his family and loves to cook, but currently his most important task is being a new father!

Denise Varville

Denise Varville

Customer Service

Denise joined our team in 2003 and she has been here ever since. Denise brings the “Buddha” vibe to TierraCast no matter what she is doing-  from Shipping and Receiving to backorder management to customer service - she is steady, calm, supportive and helpful! Ultimately her job is to “do whatever is necessary to get orders out the door”!